Now part of the Boohoo group, Nasty Gal are an online retailer specialising in standout young womens fashion
Nasty Gal is an American retailer based in Los Angeles, specialising in fashion for young women, with customers in over 60 different countries. It was founded in 2006 by Sophia Amoruso, soon becoming the ‘Fastest Growing Retailer’ in 2012 by Inc magazine. In 2017, it was purchased by the Boohoo group.
It started life back in 2006, initially as an eBay store, while the founder, Sophia, was working as a campus safety host at the Academy of Art University. At the time, she was sourcing old pieces of clothing and vintage fashion pieces sourced from second-hand shops. With its name initially inspired by Betty Davis, it was originally called Nasty Gal Vintage, with Myspace being its main form of communication. To this day, social media has remained at the heart of the brands growth.
In June 2008, Nasty Gal Vintage was moved from eBay to its very own site, then the following year, moved into warehouse space in Berkeley, California.
In 2010, Nasty Gals headquarters moved to LA, then benefited from multiple investments of nine million dollars in early 2012, followed by forty million dollars the same August made by Index Ventures, a venture capital firm. In September, the retailers first ever fall and winter collection was released, called ‘Weird Science’ at the New York Fashion Week, featuring several limited-edition styles.
By 2012, 110 people were employed by the business which prompted the opening of a new distribution centre in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. At this time, revenue for Nasty Gal reached twenty-four million dollars which marked a growth rate of 11,200% over three years.
In August 2013, the brands very first footwear collection was released, then in 2014, the retailer opened its first store in Melrose Avenue, LA which sold products like footwear, apparel, accessories, and lingerie. During the same year, three new in-house collections were released. A vintage inspired Nasty Gal denim collection, swimwear, and lingerie. A collaboration was made with swimwear line ‘Minimale Animale’ in 2014, as well as M∙A∙C cosmetics on a collection of lipsticks and nail polishes.
In January 2015, Sheree Waterson was introduced as the new CEO, continuing to work closely with Amoruso to scale the brand, as she continued as a founder and executive chairman. A board of directors was established, which included Waterson, Amoruso and Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer.
Despite a second Nasty Gal store opening in March 2015 in Santa Monica, the business filed for bankruptcy, which was then purchased by the Boohoo group in February 2017. In the same year, the brand opened a shop on Carnaby Street in London.
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